Theater: OFFERINGS FROM CENTER THEATRE GROUP

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by Lamont Williams on July 11, 2021

in Theater-Los Angeles

Center Theatre Group Schedule
July 12 – July 18, 2021

Premiering This Week:

Center Theatre Group in association with UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television present “32 Acres,” a new uniquely enveloping outdoor soundwalk through Los Angeles State Historic Park offered July 14 through September 29, 2021, during park hours (8 am through sunset) at no cost through a free app in the Apple and Google app stores. For more information including directions to download the free app, please visit www.32acresla.com. Los Angeles State Historic Park is located at 1245 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles CA, 90012.

As the city reopens and many Angelenos begin venturing into public spaces again after a year of isolation, immersive artist Marike Splint’s site-specific piece, “32 Acres,” offers audiences a rare opportunity to rediscover how they relate to the city they inhabit. The Los Angeles State Historic Park serves as the enigmatic canvas for a contemplative experience on the character of Los Angeles, its hidden histories and imagined futures while exploring the paradoxes of urban nature. After downloading a custom-built app and putting on their headphones, audiences will set off on a unique journey as their movements through the park conjure sounds and dialogue. “32 Acres” combines original narrative, composition and sound recordings to lead audience members on a guided walk suggesting other ways of seeing and being in our immediate surroundings.

Created by Marike Splint, “32 Acres” features original music, sound design and implementation by Jonathan Snipes. The app developer and technical sound designer is Stewart Blackwood with additional sound design and implementation by Tatum Anderson. App user interface and visual design is by Hana S. Kim.

Center Theatre Group, The Fire This Time Festival and Watts Village Theater Company present the third episode of Not a Moment, But a Movement, premiering July 15 at 5 pm and available on demand through August 12, 2021. The video will be free to Center Theatre Group subscribers and supporters and $10 for all others except for opening weekend July 15 – 18 when it is free to the public. This episode of Not a Moment, But a Movement will be available at NotAMoment.

At the center of this episode is Roger Q. Mason’s “The Duat,” directed by Taibi Magar, performed by Gregg Daniel (HBO’s “Insecure”) and featuring percussionist David Leach. Introduced by Wayne Brady and hosted by Watts Village Theater Company Co-Artistic Director Bruce A. Lemon Jr. the episode will also feature Lemon’s interview with multi-disciplined artist Floyd Strickland.

Fusing dialogue, music and movement, “The Duat” follows Cornelius Johnson, a former FBI COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) informant as he awakens in the Egyptian afterlife. While he awaits judgement, Cornelius struggles to come to terms with his family history and his own troubling role in the civil rights movement at UCLA in the late 60s. The digital premiere of “The Duat” features lighting design by Brandon Baruch; live music composed and performed by David Leach; sound design and original music composed by David Gonzalez and choreography by Michael Tomlin III. “The Duat” was filmed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and edited by Jabari Phillips.

A series that amplifies and centers Black artists, Not a Moment, But a Movement events feature the work of multiple artists from varied disciplines. Each of the artists offers their own distinct voice which blends with, builds upon and sometimes clashes up against the other voices to create a unique piece that centers conversations that have long been held to the periphery. Each event is paired with a panel discussion to create a uniquely comprehensive cultural experience. This performance is made possible in part by the City of Culver City and its Cultural Affairs Commission, with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Culver City Arts Foundation.

Associated Content for Not a Moment, But a Movement:

“Art and Social Justice: Intersecting Onstage and Beyond,” the panel for this third episode of Not a Moment, But a Movement takes place live on July 15 at 4 pm and will be available on demand at YouTube. The discussion asks the questions, what is the responsibility of an artist at times of great societal change and conflict? Is it possible, or responsible, to separate art from activism? Moderated by Antonio David Lyons, a panel of artists including Dominique MorisseauAzure D. Osborne-Lee and Jonathan McCrory unpack the role art plays in the search for social justice and the risks taken to push forward a movement.

Currently Available On Demand:

Two connected programs premiered on May 25, the poetic short “George Floyd: The Father of the Reimagined America” and the discussion “Journey Towards a New American Theatre: George Floyd’s Lasting Impact.” The discussion is available indefinitely at YouTube and the poetic short will be available until July 15, 2021, at CTGLA. Both videos are free to the public.

Three female dancers, four voiceover actors and a moving soundscape propel “George Floyd: The Father of the Reimagined America,” a blending of poetry and movement that celebrates George Floyd. His death, along with that of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and others, were the catalyst for what many are calling a modern-day civil rights movement. Based on a poem written by John Lee Gaston White, adapted for the screen by John Lee Gaston White and Lakisha May; and directed and produced by Lakisha May, “George Floyd: The Father of the Reimagined America” includes music by Jimmy King, choreography by Nia Lancelin-Brantly and animation by Josh Sessoms. The cast features dancers Desiree Elder (portraying the role of Mama), Zoë McNally (Ruby Gianna) and Taliyah Smith (Meg Olu) as well as actors Will Cobbs (voicing George Floyd’s Spirit), Tyla Uzo (Meg Olu), Pauletta Washington (Mama) and Hayden Windham (Ruby Gianna).

Moderated by arts leader Keryl McCord (founder/CEO of Equity Quotient), “Journey Towards a New American Theatre: George Floyd’s Lasting Impact” asks the questions, had George Floyd not been murdered, would arts organizations across the country have taken such immediate and serious steps toward becoming anti-racist? How did the death of an otherwise ordinary man help change the world, and in turn, the future of American theatre? In this free discussion, panelists including playwright/actress and Theatre Communications Group, Board Chair, Nikkole Salter (“In the Continuum” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre), and writer John Lee Gaston White (“George Floyd: The Father of the Reimagined America”) explore how art and art makers are beginning to reflect a world that is forever changed by the power of George Floyd’s legacy.

Center Theatre Group marked the ninth anniversary of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) with “WET: A DACAmented Journey” written and performed by Alex Alpharaoh and directed by Brisa Areli Muñoz. Alpharaoh’s deeply personal work is available free to the public on the Center Theatre Group’s Digital Stage at DACAmented through July 16, 2021. The video is free to Center Theatre Group subscribers and supporters throughout the run and cost $10 for all others.

“WET: A DACAmented Journey” is a true story of what it means to be an American in every sense of the word except one: on paper. Award-winning actor, director, spoken word artist and teaching artist Alex Alpharaoh knows firsthand the emotional and psychological hardship of this unending process and risked his own freedom to share his story in a nationwide tour. Now captured at the Kirk Douglas Theatre for a presentation on Center Theatre Group’s Digital Stage, “WET” rockets between hilarity and heartbreak to capture one man’s travels to a home country he’d never known as part of his relentless journey toward becoming a documented citizen of the United States.

Associated Content for “WET: A DACAmented Journey”

“Defying Borders: How Immigration Policies Impact Theatre, On and Off the Stage,” a panel featuring three theatre artists, Alex Alpharaoh, Leslie Ishii and Kemiyondo Coutinho, discussing the impact that America’s immigrations policies continue to have on not only their lived experiences but also the art they are creating for the stage. Moderated by Alex Meda, the discussion is free and available at DACAmented.

“Until the Flood” premiered November 15 and is available until 2023. This video is free to the public at UntilTheFlood.

“Until the Flood” which was performed at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in January, 2020, explores a community in turmoil following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith and directed by Center Theatre Group Associate Artistic Director Neel Keller, “Until the Flood” draws on Orlandersmith’s interviews with residents across the Greater St. Louis area to create composite characters that reflect a wide range of perspectives and experiences of race to discuss the roots of unrest and the search for healing.

“Until the Flood,” was originally commissioned and produced by The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and subsequently produced around the United States and in Ireland, Scotland and England, with the same performer, director and creative team. Center Theatre Group partnered with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, A Contemporary Theatre (ACT), Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Goodman Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Portland Center Stage and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis to present the All Arts televised streaming production of “Until the Flood.” The presentation uses video footage from the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre production.

Conversation with Dael Orlandersmith, Neel Keller and Student Artists. Center Theatre Group hosted a conversation with “Until the Flood” writer/performer Dael Orlandersmith, director Neel Keller and student artists representing theatres across the country. Moderated by Center Theatre Group’s Teaching Artist, Christine Breihan. Participating student artists include Alex W. (Milwaukee Repertory), Fletcher J. and Sonia-Sofia R. (Center Theatre Group), Mikayla A. (Portland Center Stage), Ariel B. (Goodman Theatre) and Marie-Antoinette B. (Denver Center for the Performing Arts). The discussion is free to the public and available at CTG.

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